Originally published in The Regulatory Review. Reprinted with permission.
By even cost-benefit analysis — the most biased metric — regulations are improving America, producing benefits that exceed costs by a ratio of as much as 12-to-1, according to the most recent figures from the Trump Administration. Of course, those numbers barely scratch the surface of what regulations actually "do."
Thanks in part to the Clean Air Act, for example, the median concentration of lead in the blood of children between one and five years old decreased 93 percent between 1976 and 2012. The Endangered Species Act was instrumental in bringing the iconic bald eagle back from the brink of extinction. And the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's regulations helped reduce worker fatality rates from 18 deaths per 100,000 workers in 1970 to four deaths per 100,000 workers in 2006.
Given the enormous success of regulations, you would think that lawmakers — at least progressive ones — would be eager to extol their virtues and champion reforms to strengthen our regulatory system. But you would be wrong. Instead, apparently seduced by the conservative siren song that decries regulations as incompatible with job creation, economic growth, or even "freedom," progressive lawmakers have adopted a much meeker, almost apologetic tone.
Thankfully, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has broken ...